Friday, August 30, 2013

Rolling Round Richmond: The Great Lulu Loop — Post 4 of 5

I was nearing the end of day two of my grand loop of Lulu Island, aka Richmond. After visiting with Harold Steves, I continued along the dyke path. An information sign described a fort that stood here during World War 2, although no sign of it remained. Surprise! The sign showed an old photo of soldiers saluting Harold Steves, at age seven, dressed up as an officer.

With sweat trickling down my back I reached Garry Point, a peninsula jutting out from the southwest corner of Lulu Island. The park catches sea breezes and is popular with kite enthusiasts. I spoke with a chap flying a model airplane. “She’s difficult to control in these winds,” he said, but he flew the plane beautifully.

I cycled slowly into Steveston alongside beaches dotted with umbrellas and children playing in the water. Every now and again, a dark, rusting fishing boat cruised past in the river.

Steveston is home to the largest commercial fishing fleet in Canada. Fittingly, my first stop was the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, a rambling old building on pilings over the Fraser River. This National Historic Site gave a vivid insight into the times when the Fraser was the richest salmon river in the world and Steveston boasted 17 canneries.

I cycled a few blocks to the Steveston Garden Suite, a luxurious one-bedroom suite. Ravenous, I wolfed down the cheesecake the proprietors had kindly left.

I sought dinner along the boardwalk at Fisherman’s Wharf, which was crowded with smiling tourists. The smell of fish and saltwater hung in the air and fishermen hawked salmon, halibut and prawns direct from their boats. The restaurant tables overflowed with clinking glasses and plates piled with seafood. Selecting a restaurant was a daunting task but I finally climbed the stairs to the Charthouse and nursed a beer as I gazed upon a forest of masts. The lowering sun poured in the windows, and the wild salmon was delicious.

With a full tummy I pedalled onto a pier to watch masts silhouetted against an orange sky. Then I went to Garry Point and watched a glorious sunset, with the horizon turning fiery reds and oranges. Thinking my great Lulu Loop couldn’t possibly get better, I turned around to find a full moon beaming down on me. I slept well with pleasant dreams.

Need to Know
Gulf of Georgia Cannery -

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